#8 - 1912 - Fernando Bie & Hugo Wieslander's Olympic Go
|The 1912 Olympics introduced two new events in the pentathlon and the re-tooled decathlon. American Jim Thorpe destroyed the competition in both events. He won four of the five pentathlon events, placing third in the javelin throw. Using the point system where 1st place receives one point and so on, Thorpe won the pentathlon with just 7 points. Second place was Fernando Bie at a distant 21 points.
In the decathlon, using the same point system Thorpe scored a 25 whereas second place finisher, Hugo Wieslander scored a 67.
When presented his medals, Sweden's King Gustav V apparently told Thorpe, "Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the world." Many now refer to the winner of the decathlon as just that.
But, in January 1913, Worcester Telegram broke the news that Thorpe had played minor league baseball prior to the Olympics and thus his amateur status should have been revoked. The IOC stripped Thorpe of his medals and awarded second place finishers Fernando Bie and Hogo Wieslander the gold medals. Thorpe was one of many athletes who violated their amateur status, the only difference was those other players used pseudonyms.
For years many, including Thorpe's family tried to get the decision overturned. In 1982 -- 29 years after his death -- the rules and regulations from the 1912 Games were discovered in the Library of Congress and the rules stated that the statute of limitations to make a claim against an athlete's amateur status was 30 days after the medals were received. The breaking news of Thorpe's violation came well after the 30-day period. The IOC restored his amateur status and in a curious decision declared him co-champion with Wieslander and Bie.